It’s been over a week, and I’m finally getting around to uploading my photos of the Vancouver Aquarium. I hadn’t been in… almost 5 years? Really? Damn. Well, it was high time I fixed that. The special exhibit was called “Luminescence,” and showcased what underwater critters look like under black light.
Turns out it wasn’t really one exhibit, but several, scattered all around, plus one very cool interactive display where you could make a swarm of jellyfish light up from a computer touch-screen.
In hindsight, I should have brought my regular camera with me. Though my new phone does better in low light conditions, it seems to be crap at focusing through glass. Also, the battery was draining way too fast. Which means I don’t have photographic evidence for the amazing discovery that scorpions totally luminesce! Really, under normal light, they’re this dark red-brown, but under black light they’re this weird soft blue colour.
The focus was on anemones, though. And holy cow are they pretty!
One of the Luminescence displays was an electric eel, which sadly didn’t light up anything unlike the one in Ottawa’s Sience and Tech Museum. It just sort of sat there at the bottom of its tank, not even zapping any prey or anything. Oh well.
The Aquarium doesn’t have just water-dwelling critters, though. The Amazon section has butterflies!
(With warnings to not let the butterflies out when we enter and leave.) And birds!
Back to the aquatic (or at least amphibian) beasts, we have frogs!
And if you’ve ever wondered what the underside of starfish looks like, well, wonder no more.
The Aquarium featured jellyfish both tiny and ghostly…
…and huge and sumptuous.
But you know what wins the prize for most memorable animal? The humble Dwarf Cuttlefish. I went to see it twice that day. The first time it was swimming among some rocks, too hard to see (plus, I think it’s got some kind of camouflage thing going on). The second time it was swimming right up to the glass, not trying to hide, but it kept drifting sideways, always angling up and to the left. Was that some kind of defense mechanism, trying to get higher than then big scary predator (ie: me)? Maybe. All I know is, on the only halfway good shot I managed to get, my damn phone just focused on the rocks in the background, leaving me with this weird blurry cuttlefish.
Then again, it’s kind of a pretty effect. I could tell people it’s engaging its cloaking device. Or that it’s really a Drakh cuttlefish. Anything’s possible with sci-fi!
(Except taking good pictures of otters, belugas or sharks. The former were too fast and hard to see, and the others just wouldn’t focus through glass or water. Yeah, next time I’ll bring a proper camera.)